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to uniformerly provide lifetime secret service protection to all of america's former presidents. i want to thank the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, for sponsoring this commonsense bipartisan legislation. america has a responsibility to protect its presidents and its families and not simply while they serve in office. we also have a duty to ensure the ongoing safety of those who serve in america's highest elected office after they leave office. in 1958 congress first authorized secret service protection for former presidents, which was limited to a reasonable period of time after a president leaves office. congress expanded this to lifetime protection in 1965. but in 1994, congress once again limited secret service protection for former presidents. this time to 10 years after a president leaves office. this 10-year restriction applied to presidents who took office after january 1, 1997. the role of the former president has changed throughout the years. former presidents now have a global presence and are often seen as de facto representatives
the election. >>> bank of america, merrill lynch predicts oil prices in this country will drop to $50 per barrel. the cause? difficulty in moving huge amounts of oil from the bakan oil fields in south dakota and in texas. they don't predict a corresponding drop in gas prices. world oil prices will stay high, and our gas prices will likely track that. >>> americans are upbeat about the economy. 43% of americans say they are optimistic about 2013 and believe the economy is rebounding, nearly twice as many as last year. >> can i ask? the other day, we were talking about the fiscal cliff. and you tell us it will be really, really bad. why does the market keep going up? >> everyone thinks they will fix it. in the market, the question, what will the top rate be for the highest earners. 37%? the market says there will be a deal and lower corporate tax rates. if there isn't a deal, after the first of the year, a big stock market sell-off. >> we'll talk about the 20 days left to the fiscal cliff, straight ahead. >>> still ahead, a prominent republican now officially a democrat. we'll take a closer
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